Province Bring Back Big Guns For Semi-Final

Western Province head coach John Dobson has made seven changes to his team for Friday’s 2015 Currie Cup semi-final clash against the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria (kick-off19:10).  Fullback Cheslin Kolbe, winger Seabelo Senatla, centre Johnny Kotze, flanker Rynhardt Elstadt, lock Ruan Botha, prop Steven Kitshoff and hooker Bongi Mbonambi all return to the WP starting XV this week, hardman Elstadt’s return the big news after missing his team’s last four encounters with a thigh problem.  Skipper Juan De Jongh will lead the defending champions into battle in Pretoria, partnering Johnny Kotze in midfield, with Senatla, Dillyn Leyds and Kolbe forming a razor-sharp back three.

Nic Groom and Robert Du Preez will comebine at halfback, with experienced scrumhalf Jano Vermaak back on the bench after missing Province’s last two matches with a groin strain.  Prop Oli Kebble has shaken off an ankle injury to be named on the bench, where he is joined by lock Chris Van Zyl – who, like Kebble, started last Friday’s 45-14 win over the EP Kings at Newlands.  Streeptruie boss John Dobson says:  ‘Having players like Rynhardt and Jano back in our 22 is a big boost for us, given that they’re both experienced players who have played in games of this nature before.  Our average (matchday squad) age is just over 23; Dillyn Leyds, Johnny Kotze, Rob Du Preez, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Wilco Louw, Mikey Willemse, Jurie Van Vuuren and Huw Jones are all playing in their first-ever Absa Currie Cup semifinals – so any additional experience can only help those players and, of course, the team on the whole.  We have had a short week, but it’s been a sharp one as we look to take on a Blue Bulls team that has been excellent at home this season and, thus, deserving of hosting a home semi-final.’

TheWestern Province match day squad is as follows:

15. Cheslin Kolbe
14. Dillyn Leyds
13. Johnny Kotze
12. Juan De Jongh (captain)
11. Seabelo Senatla
10. Robert Du Preez
9. Nic Groom
8. Nizaam Carr
7. Sikhumbuzo Notshe
6. Rynhardt Elstadt
5. Ruan Botha
4. Jean Kleyn
3. Wilco Louw
2. Bongi Mbonambi
1. Steven Kitshoff

16. Michael Willemse
17. Oli Kebble
18. Chris Van Zyl
19. Jurie van Vuuren
20. Jano Vermaak
21. Kurt Coleman
22. Huw Jones